THE SIDELINES : Thunderbirds Sign Czech Defector
Petr Nedved, who defected from Czechoslovakia during a Christmas hockey tournament in Canada, has signed a contract with the Seattle Thunderbirds, the Western Hockey League team announced.
Terms were not disclosed.
Nedved, 17, left the Litvinov midget team Jan. 2 during a minor hockey tournament in Calgary. The center was the leading scorer in the tournament and selected to the first all-star team.
The 6-foot, 3-inch, 170-pound Nedved is a native of Liberac, Czechoslovakia. He had 17 goals and 29 points in nine games during the Calgary tournament.
“We don’t expect Petr to come in and lead the team in scoring, or anything of that nature,” Seattle General Manager Russ Farwell said in a statement. “We realize that there will be a transition period that he will have to go through, very similar to that of a player of his age coming into our league from Canada.”